Google Docs will soon be able to identify grammatical errors and offer suggestions to help polish your writing. The feature, called grammar suggestions, will be available first for G Suite business accounts before a wider availability for all Google Docs users later this year, and Google said that its grammar tool is powered entirely by artificial intelligence.
The feature will help Google Docs compete against Microsoft Word’s Editor pane and is similar to Grammarly’s browser extension. Like its competitors, Google’s new grammar tool recognizes grammatical errors as you type and offers helpful suggestions, similar to how the spellchecker works in Google Docs. However, what sets grammar suggestions apart is that it uses a translation-based algorithm, essentially offering a proper English translation if it spots any improper use of the language.
“We’ve adopted a highly effective approach to grammar correction that is machine translation-based,” Google VP for G Suite product management David Thacker told TechCrunch. “For example, in language translation, you take a language like French and translate it into English. Our approach to grammar is similar. We take improper English and use our technology to correct or translated it into proper English. What’s nice about this is that the language translations is a technology that we have a long history of doing well.”
There are two ways for users to check grammar right now. The first way is through automatic suggestions as you type, and the second method is to run a spelling and grammar check through the tools menu. “When Docs detects a possible grammar correction, it will underline it in blue to indicate you might want to check it,” Google said of the feature in a blog post. “You can right-click to see a suggested correction or dismiss the alert. Possible grammar errors will also show up when you run a spelling and grammar check through the tools menu.”
Because the feature is powered by machine learning, Google claims that grammar suggestions will improve the more you use it. The feature will initially launch to its business customers in the Early Adopter Program.
Google is also pushing its A.I. capabilities to other products. Smart Replies, a feature that debuted for Gmail, will also be available to users on Hangouts Chats, Google’s alternative for Slack. Like for email, Smart Replies on Hangouts Chats will give you automatic suggested responses to messages that Google thinks will likely require a reply. The feature will be available in the coming weeks, according to Mashable. Google’s Smart Compose feature, which predicts the next words or phrases as you type an email, will also be coming to G Suite users.